Paul David Hewson, nicknamed Bono, is one of the most eminent singers and musicians of Irish origin and is best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band, U2. Passionate about singing from a very young age, Bono has emerged as one of the greatest rock vocalists of the 20th century. Soon after he joined the band, U2, he catapulted to fame with his stand-out lyrics based on religious and spiritual themes. The release of the 1987 album, ‘The Joshua Tree’ triggered widespread international acclaim and has promulgated a series of hits ever since. His 2004 album, ‘How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb’ was his magnum opus and made him the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. However, he did not restrict himself to music only as he was one of the very few celebrities to use his popularity for creating awareness regarding various social issues. He was involved in a number of humanitarian efforts in Africa and co-founded various organisations including, DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red. For his philanthropic works, he received widespread recognition and became the only rock musician to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and was conferred an honorary knighthood. Scroll further to learn more about this interesting personality.
Childhood & Early Life
Bono was born to Brendon Robert Hewson and Iris on May 10, 1960 in Dublin, Ireland. He and his younger brother were raised in the Northside suburb of Finglas and the duo regularly attended the Church of Ireland services with their mother.
In October 1976, when he was in High School, he joined the band U2, where his peers gave him the nickname, ‘Bono Vox’, meaning ‘good voice’.
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After joining the band, soon he was made the lead vocalist for U2, and the band started touring and released its first album, ‘Boy’ in 1980.
In 1987, after releasing a number of albums, they finally gained international acclaim with their sixth album, ‘The Joshua Tree’. Their subsequent albums, which included ‘Achtung Baby’, ‘Zooropa’, and ‘Pop’, left an indelible mark on the hearts of music lovers.
The 2000s witnessed his return to the genre of modern rock with the album, ‘All That You Can't Leave Behind’.
The 2004 album ‘How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb’ brought the band both, commercial success and critical acclaim; its leading singles ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own’ reached the Billboard countdown and also won the band several Grammy Awards.
In 2005, along with his wife, Ali Hewson, he established ‘EDUN’, a mission to substitute "sustainable employment in developing areas of the world, particularly Africa”.
An ardent social activist, he used his music to convey philanthropic messages. On one such occasion in 2006, he collaborated with the band, ‘Green Day’ to record a cover of the Skids, ‘The Saints Are Coming’ as a part of the relief efforts in the wake of the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina.
In March 2009, the band released ‘No Line on the Horizon’, which topped the American charts, and the singles from the album such as, ‘Get On Your Boots’ and ‘Magnificent’ featured in the top 10 list.
Apart from his musical career, he met various world leaders and discussed about various issues such as debt relief for developing countries, world poverty and AIDS.
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‘War’, his third studio album, released on 28 February, 1983, was considered the band’s first political album. It received great critical acclaim and was ranked #1 in the UK and #12 on the Billboard charts in the U.S.
‘All That You Can't Leave Behind’, a studio album, released on 30 October 2000 won him and the band great critical acclaim. The album sold over 12 million copies and the album won a total of seven Grammy Awards.
Awards & Achievements
In 2005, he was included in the list of ‘Time magazine's Persons of the Year’ along with Bill and Melinda Gates for his outstanding contribution to charitable work and public service.
An Honorary Knighthood of the British Empire was bestowed upon him in 2007.
Personal Life & Legacy
Bono married Alison Hewson in August 1982. The couple have two daughters, Jordan and Memphis Eve and two sons, Elijah and John Abraham.
In May 2010, he suffered a spinal injury during the course of preparations for the U2 tour and underwent a neurosurgery for the same.
‘Bono Vox’, this artist’s stage name, was based on a hearing aid retailer which is of the same name. Bono Vox is the Latin name for ‘good voice’.
He is the only rock musician who was nominated for an Oscar, a Grammy, a Golden Globe, and the Nobel Peace Prize.
This singer’s silhouette is used as the icon for the ‘Artists’ tab of the music component in iPhone and iPod Touch.